Huge losses in teaching time in middle school core classes
by Ann Sutherland on 11/12/18
We already know that this year, the district instituted an 8-period day, reducing class time from 55 to 45 minutes. In middle schools, after discounting 5 minutes for the class to settle in and take roll, this already amounts to a reduction of 20% of last year's time (10/50).
Now we learn that many schools are having ELA teachers out one day per week and math teachers out one day every other week for Engage to Learn, FWISD's $2.06 million effort to improve student attitudes, funded mostly via federal money* This reduces class time another 20% for ELA students and 10% for math students. All core classes are designated to participate. Put differently, ELA students are losing 36 days of instruction per year and math students 18.
This despite staff having no evidence that the program will increase student learning.
Time lost in middle school ELA classes = 40%
Time lost in middle school math classes = 30%
Staff has not responded to a request for the number of schools participating in this program nor whether the reductions are year-long or not.
*According to federal law, decisions about Title I funds at school sites must be approved by SBDM groups.